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Sutro Baths Ruins

San Francisco, California

based on 6 reviews


Added by Danny McGee

At their completion in 1896, The Sutro Baths were opened to the public as the world's largest indoor swimming pool establishment. Shortly after closing in 1966, the building was unfortunately engulfed by fire and burned to the ground. Now, the area stands as a historical site, where you are free to explore the ruins and tunnels that were left behind.

Whether you simply look down on the ruins from the [conveniently located] parking lot above, or choose to walk down the stairs and explore, you will be greeted with stunning views of the Baths, and the Pacific Ocean stretching infinitely beyond.

The highlight of any trip to the Sutro Baths is the cliffside tunnel. As you walk through, the corridor is filled with briny mist and the booming sounds of the sea. There are several spots where you can watch the waves collide on the rocks below through small apertures and feel the ancient echoes of a bygone era.

It is located near the tip of Lands End trail and there is plenty of free parking available. The great thing about The Sutro Baths is that they can be viewed from the parking lot, which is helpful for disabled visitors or visitors with walkers. Moreover, directional signage is clearly marked to guide you to the primary viewing areas and points of interest. It is not your typical park as one of the numerous signs warn "People have been swept from the rocks and drowned" so be careful with small children. But don't worry, signs warn you of any dangerous areas ensuring a safe yet adventurous exploration.

It is a fantastic place to catch the sunset as it faces out towards the Pacific. The golden hues casting over the ruins make for a surreal experience, painting the ancient baths in a warm, golden glow. When in San Francisco, this is surely a place you don't want to miss for a blend of historical exploration and natural beauty right at the city’s edge.

FAQs for Sutro Baths Ruins Visitors:

What are the operating hours for visiting the Sutro Baths Ruins? The ruins are open to the public from sunrise to sunset every day.

Is there an entrance fee to visit the Sutro Baths Ruins? No, there is no entrance fee to explore the ruins.

Is parking available on-site? Yes, there is a parking lot available with plenty of free parking spaces.

Are the Sutro Baths Ruins wheelchair accessible? While the ruins themselves are not wheelchair accessible, the viewing area from the parking lot above provides a good vantage point for those with mobility challenges.

Is it safe to bring children to the Sutro Baths Ruins? Yes, but with caution. The area has rugged terrain and is close to the ocean, so it's important to supervise children at all times.

Are there restroom facilities available on-site? Restroom facilities may not be available on-site, so it's advisable to plan accordingly before your visit.

Can I bring my dog to the Sutro Baths Ruins? Generally, dogs are allowed but they must be kept on a leash at all times.

Is drone photography allowed at the Sutro Baths Ruins? Drone photography may be subject to local regulations and restrictions. It's advisable to check with local authorities or the park's management before flying a drone.

What is the best time to visit the Sutro Baths Ruins? The Sutro Baths Ruins are beautiful year-round, but many find sunset to be a particularly magical time to visit.

Are guided tours available? While the site is primarily self-guided, there may be guided tours available through local tour operators or historical societies.

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Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
ADA Accessible

Sutro Baths Ruins Reviews

Check this place out for the history. Pretty impressive to have had hundreds of people swimming in salt water pools only a couple feet from the ocean! It’s worth hiking down and exploring the ruins. There’s an old cave that you can hike through. If it’s high tide you may get splashed while in the cave. Also the lands end parking lot just above is a great place to catch sunset.

Cool spot at the beginning of the lands end hike. Not much to see but has interesting history

Very unique setting and an iconic part of ocean beach. Not sure if its still going on, but they used to do free Shakespeare plays here at certain times of the year. Grab a warm coffee at the visitors center and enjoy a nice walk along the ruins.

Saw this on the way while we were doing the Land's End hike. I looked it up when I got home and learned about the indoor pool and the weird ways they would go down the slides. It's interesting to see, but theres not much more too it than that.

Like others have said, work this into your Land's End hike. Super cool history and great location. Definitely worth a stop in San Francisco.

On a sunny San Francisco day, the Sutro Baths are a great stop especially to enjoy a sunset. If you time it right, you can hike there via Lands End, then hike back before it's too dark. If you don't have time to hike as well, there's parking right near the baths (parking lot and street parking). Once you've gotten your fill, I'd recommend heading to Park Chalet or Tee Off (clement btwn 32nd and 33rd) for a bite and a beer.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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